Originally created 07/24/02

Featured obituary: Mrs. Pearl Denny

Pearl Denny's love for education was deeply rooted in her childhood.

Her father, the late John Scoggins, once moved his business so his nine children could attend Erskine College in Due West, S.C.

Mrs. Denny graduated from the college in 1916 with a degree in education and went to work for the Wrens, Ga., school system.

One of her most famous pupils was Erskine Caldwell, the author of Tobacco Road and God's Little Acre.

"I remember when Mr. Caldwell used to come by the house," said her son, John Denny. "She always told him 'you were a good student, but I never read any of your books."'

Mrs. Denny, 105, died Sunday in High Point, N.C. Graveside services will be 11 a.m. Thursday in Sunset Hill Cemetery, North Augusta, with Dr. James Adams officiating.

When Mrs. Denny moved to North Augusta, she continued to teach in the Aiken County school system.

"She worked until retirement age and then (former superintendent) Paul Knox went to getting her back year-by-year," Mr. Denny said. "When he couldn't get her back (that way), she went to substituting."

And when Mrs. Denny quit substitute teaching, she took pupils and tutored them in her home, he said. She also taught a Sunday school class at Grace United Methodist Church.

Even a diagnosis of colon cancer couldn't keep her from pursuing her life's work.

"She went to live with (her daughter) in High Point, N.C., and eventually moved into a retirement home," her son said. "Even then, when she was more than 100 years old, she and a few of the other ladies that used to be teachers would bring students there for tutoring."

Additional survivors include a daughter, Mary Clark Cole of High Point; 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Reach Jennifer Hilliard at (706) 823-3220 or jennifer.hilliard@augustachronicle.com.


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